The course of transition in Navy wives undergoing a forced move

Nicole J Rafanello, Fordham University


The present research examined the course of adjustment in Navy wives (N = 106) undergoing a Permanent Change of Duty Station (PCS) move recruited from five Naval bases within the United States. Participants completed self-report measures of relocation problems, the strategies they used to cope with them, and their level of intrapsychic differentiation, or the ability to separate thinking and feeling and integrate them effectively. Self-report measures of depression, anxiety, and quality of life (QOL) were also administered and served as the dependent variables. Regressions predicting individuals at-risk for stress reactions and poor QOL indicated that intrapsychic differentiation followed by the amount of experience with the military were the best predictors of the outcome variables. Highly differentiated women married to higher ranking servicemen who had been associated with the military for a greater amount of time displayed significantly less stress reactions and a better QOL than less differentiated women with less experience married to junior ranking servicemen. The coping strategies of Accepting Responsibility and Escape Avoidance were used the least frequently by this sample and also emerged as being significantly associated with depression, anxiety, and a reduction in QOL. Most participants (85.8%) reported that they had grown as a result of their moving experiences and the tendency to endorse this belief increased as the number of PCS moves the subject had experienced increased. It was found that the amount of time the individual had spent at the new duty station did not affect problem report, coping style, or any of the outcome measures. Some of the non-significant findings of this study may be attributed to the fact that the sample was restricted in a number of ways: (1) the subjects were considerably older than has been previously reported in other studies, (2) there was a lack of representation of African-American and Latina women, and (3) most subjects were residents of their new communities for more than six months.

Subject Area

Psychotherapy|Social psychology|Families & family life|Personal relationships|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Rafanello, Nicole J, "The course of transition in Navy wives undergoing a forced move" (2005). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3169391.